GLEN ROCK, NJ – The Glen Rock Environmental Commission (GREC) and Glen Rock Green Team held a Styrofoam recycling drive on Sunday, September 23 that received a turnout of residents from fifteen different Bergen County towns, including Ridgewood, Franklin Lakes, and Oradell.
Participants brought Styrofoam coolers and packaging materials and filled a 17-foot box truck. The truck was then driven to Foam Pack in Springfield, NJ, where Styrofoam is recycled for use in producing polystyrene goods such as architectural moldings and picture frames. Six youth volunteers, aged fourth grade to high school, assisted six adult volunteers. At the drive, participants learned about Styrofoam recycling feasibility and signed petitions in support of a Bergen County ban on Styrofoam food containers and a Glen Rock Ordinance to ban single use plastic bags, straws, and foam containers.
“We were thrilled with the response from the community," Candace Lynch, a GREC Commissioner, said. "Over the course of three hours we filled a 17-foot truck with Styrofoam! Participants came from around the corner and from miles away, eager to avoid dumping this non-biodegradable pollutant in a landfill. The feedback has been excellent and we’re already getting requests for the date of the next Styrofoam recycling drive.”
Glen Rock Council Member Arati Kreibich said, “I am so proud of the Glen Rock Environmental Commission and the Green Team for hosting this Styrofoam drive, since this material cannot easily be recycled otherwise. The enthusiastic community response to the drive clearly shows that there is a need to reduce our use of Styrofoam and to have more frequent opportunities to recycle Styrofoam in Bergen County.”
Styrofoam is not recyclable in Glen Rock and must be placed in the trash. GREC and the Green Team have a goal of reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill from Glen Rock. This recycling event, held in conjunction with the Sustainable Jersey Bergen Hub, aimed to increase awareness of Styrofoam waste and demonstrate the feasibility of recycling. The local environmental groups are encouraging County authorities to create opportunities for recycling of Styrofoam packaging material in conjunction with a ban on food-use Styrofoam, which is not typically accepted for recycling.
The Glen Rock Environmental Commission (GREC) consists of volunteer residents appointed by the Mayor, and the Green Team consists of volunteer residents who work with GREC. The role of the Glen Rock Environmental Commission is to inform residents about environmental matters and ways to help protect the environment, advise governing bodies on a variety of environmental issues, help explain programs and regulations of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, investigate environmental problems and offer solutions. For more information visit www.GreenUpGlenRock.com.